Lost and Found

Thursday night, Jeff found one of our cats, Sammie, out in the garage. Lapis was no where to be found, but he tends to disappear at times or on the few times he did get out, he was waiting on the back porch trying to get in the next morning. So when he did not turn up, we figured that he was hiding out somewhere and decided to keep a closer eye out for him.
To complicate matters, Friday was also the day of Jeff's annual Crab Feast that we host at our house (we get a tent for the backyard and get crabs and Red, Hot and Blue barbecue...lots of fun). So we really did not expect to see much of the cats. But after the party, it became apparent that Lapis was not in the house. Jeff and I had both at different times looked around outside the house and I took another look around before I headed to bed. I was really hoping that he would be out on the porch in the morning, but he was not.
 I scoured the neighborhood and talked to a few neighbors and sent an email with his picture out to some others. Still no Lapis. Then this evening around 9pm, I noticed Sammie acting weird and sniffing around the front door. I thought that it was a bit of a stretch that he was telling me to open it, but I did and lo and behold there was Lapis! Sitting on the porch wanting to get in. Unfortunately Ellie had been outside and started chasing Lapis away. Luckily Jason was able to keep Ellie away long enough for me to get Lapis (he was very happy to see me and let me pick him up as soon as Ellie was away).
So now Lapis is home, safe and sound. I can't tell you how relieved I am. I really surprised myself at how much I missed him. We adopted Lapis and Sammie together about 3 years ago from a great Northern Virginia cat rescue group called 4 Paws and they have been such incredibly wonderful cats...affectionate, playful and very loving, especially Lapis.
I probably should not have worried about him so much, but this was just not like him. He is not used to being outdoors, and as you can tell from the picture, he is a bit on the heavy side (he weighs more than Ellie actually). And we have a fox that lives in our neighborhood (Ellie actually chased it away from our yard this evening). And there was a heat advisory today as tempatures neared 100.So, yes I was worried.
But now I can sleep easier tonight knowing that Lapis will be snuggled up next to me...